The first Wedding Wednesday, whee! I barely know where to begin, so I’m taking a tip from my gal Maria von Trapp neé Ranier and starting at the very beginning. A very good place to start!
Without further ado, a look back at the final few days leading up to THE day. When you are wedding planning, everyone likes to give you unsolicited advice and sometimes it is good advice and other times you are like:
And it is important to keep in mind that most of the advice comes from a well meaning place of good and take everything with a grain of salt. Or a lot of salt all over the rim of a large margarita. Whatever works.
One of the best pieces of advice I received from a recently married friend was to try to get as much of the little nitty gritty details out of the way before the last minute, so you could spend those last few days before the wedding enjoying family time and one another instead of being a frazzled monster. I took this advice to heart and I think it paid off. There were OBVI no duh a few moments of stress and some snippy words but overall everything was just calm and fun. It was FUN!
Seriously. Ok enough, Liz, get to the point.
#Hottwedding kicked off Wednesday morning, August 13, when the future Mr. Hobags and I hauled booty from Brooklyn to Lancaster, PA in our chariot, which was a rented Kia SUV of some make and model. I wasn’t really paying attention. Our initial plan until about 2 weeks pre-wedding was to just take the Amtrak, but upon realizing exactly how much crap we had to lug with us, we wisely decided to rent a car – and a big one at that – and it was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. In our whole lives!
I also fully intended to carry my wedding dress via Amtrak, a prospect that horrified my mom.
“Um, it’s fine,” I reassured her. “I already took it on the 3 train.”
Whoops? When I picked it up from the salon (lol “salon”) I didn’t feel like paying for the taxi all the way home, so I just lugged it on the subway with me. I thought I’d be the talk of the train but no one so much as blinked an eye. Which makes sense. You’d basically have to be a 300 lb male midget wearing a wedding gown while singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and selling gummy bears for jaded NYC commuters to so much as blink an eye at you.
How’s a bride supposed to get any attention in this town?!
Also my mother helpfully pointed out the irony of refusing to spend $40 on a taxi after shelling out close to a G for a wedding dress but hey! Any savings to the wedding budget count, right?
Anyway, all of this is just pointless backstory to tell you another pointless fact which is that Brian and I drove a car from Brooklyn to Pennsylvania on the morning of August 13, 2014.
Cool story, bro.
I’ll speed to the good parts.
Our main objective for the day was to acquire a marriage license. In the state of Pennsylvania, you need to apply for a license no more than 60 days and no less than 3 days prior to your wedding date. Because we live out of state and the court is only open on weekdays and also we’re kind of ridiculous, we decided to just push it to the absolute last possible moment instead of taking a vacation day to get it earlier with in that window.
And so, we rolled into the Lancaster County Courthouse at about 1:30 PM on 8/13 a mere 2.5 hours before the legal final deadline to acquire our license.
Should we have been worried about this? Meh. Probably! Were we? Clearly not. I know this doesn’t seem like an example of “do things early so you don’t have to stress,” but if you look at it from another perspective, I think it shows just how oddly calm we were throughouth this whole week. This was like THE ONE THING we had to do for our wedding to count – eff flowers, appetizers, seating charts, this is a legal document – and we just casually made it happen, like a trip to the drug store or something. Cool cukes, we are.
The whole process actually took much less time than I thought. We sat with a nice, matronly woman from the County Clerk’s house and she asked us a series of questions: middle name, parents’ names, parents places of birth. Being a people-pleasy A student, I kept getting nervous I was answering wrong but she didn’t really seem that concerned about what precise town my dad was born in or whether my mom was “a lawyer…or attorney? They’re the same thing, right?!”
We completed her quick questionnaire, handed over $40 cold hard cash (see! Good thing I didn’t spend it on that taxi!!) and they printed out our marriage license right there. We signed it and boom: done. I don’t think they ran any sort of background checks or anything. All we needed to do was have our officiant sign it post-wedding and we’d be officially hitched.
FACT: It is very easy for straight people to get married in this country.
At that point, the clerk turned to me and said, in a between-us-gals tone: “Now, honey, when you go to change your last name…”
No question of if I might, just right on into it. UGH. She was a sweet lady but seemed a little set in the ways of yore.
Which made me all the MORE delighted to spot the couple behind us: two broads.
That’s right, folks. Lined up behind us were two ladies. Brian turned to me and said “Oh I thought you had to bring your fiancé, I didn’t know you could just bring a friend” and I said LESBIANS, MORON and to his defense he had momentarily forgotten that PA is one of the cooler states in the union, offering marriage rights to all consenting adults.
Rock it, PA. Rock it hard.
It took all the power of my being to control my tendencies to be overly intrusive and somewhat offensive in demonstrating my liberal viewpoint and not go up to them an hug them and say “I’M SO HAPPY YOU ARE HERE, GOOD FOR YOU, LOVE IS LOVE” and start crying and cause a scene.
Also, I would have la-hooooved to see Ms. “now, honey” interact with this couple. The paperwork literally said “Bride” and “Groom.” Do you think she asked which one was which?
Honestly for all I know she’s the most open minded lovely lady in the land and I’m the real asshole – I definitely fall into that “everyone is entitled to an opinion unless I don’t like it” trap from time to time.
I’m the worst, I KNOW.
What else I know is, 2 gals or not, they weren’t the best couple to walk through the doors that day, we were.
I then posted the above picture to facebook and spent the majority of the rest of the day watching to see how many “likes” it acquired. 158! But who's counting?
Humility is my middle name.
Brian and I hop-skipped away from the courthouse and met my mom and brother for lunch at the local brewery and for the first of many, many, MANAYYYY times that week we remarked on how surprisingly relaxed we all were. And we stayed that way. The rest of the day we did ZERO wedding tasks. We went for a run, watched HGTV, read magazines, napped. My mom grilled a delicious dinner, which we casually ate on the back with glasses of wine. It was a treat.
Don’t worry, this part will be short & sweet because Thursday was another calm, easy day. We leaned hard on gender stereotypes – Brian and Michael went golfing, while my mom and I went for manicures with my aunt Katy, who had just arrived from California for the festivities. I spent way too much time waffling about what color to do my nails – I wanted something bright and festive, but would that be too much? Would it look dated? Should I pick something more simple and “timeless?” I kept thinking about this senior photo my mom has of me in her living room where I’m wearing stacked platform sandals and GREEN NAIL POLISH and how goofy I look. But also, when that photo was taken, that was my jam – tall shoes and hideous nail colors. And my jam now is bright, colorful fingertips. I ain’t no French Mani kinda gal.
So I went for bright! And I'm so glad I did - they totally pop in the photos and make me beyond happy. So here is some unsolicited advice from ME to YOU – who cares if something might be trendy or look dated or be too bright or not bridal or too bridal or whatever. If you like it, just do it. What does “timeless” even mean? I’d rather have bright orange phalanges than do something just because it seems like the “proper” thing to do.
Also no one asks or cares BUT I went for this gel manicure thing which is like, a special kind of nail polish that lasts 3 weeks without chipping and I highly recommend if you are the kind of moron who tends to chip their nails immediately (like moi) but ANOTHER unsolicited piece of advice is that when you’re ready to take it off, you should go to the salon and have them do it for you or else you’ll still have weird gel build-up on your fingernails a full month later. JUST FYI.
The rest of the day was devoted to some final wedding tasks. We alphabetized the escort cards…and realized we’d made a few printing mistakes, whoops. THE WEDDING WAS RUINED!!!!!! Just kidding! We reprinted them! We put whoopee pies and homemade cookies into gift bags for out of town guests and wrapped gifts for the wedding party and assembled piles to take with us the next day. Margepants arrived from Philly and Bernie grilled us steak and crabcakes for our final pre-wedding feast.
WHAT AN EXCITING DAY!!!
Ok I was also going to include a recap of Friday and the rehearsal dinner but this is already long and boring enough, even for me and I’m the star of the story so I’ma cut it off here. Try to contain yourselves for the next installment which includes me finally losing my cool and snapping at my mom, cops on bikes, champagne and a Fleetwood Mac cover band.